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January: Carnation

Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Grandiflora’
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner
Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Grandiflora’
Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner

Botanical name: Dianthus spp and cvs.
Common name: Carnation, pink, divine flower, sweet William

If you were born in January, your birth flower is carnation. Known as the “flower of love” or “flower of the gods,” the carnation is one of the oldest cultivated flowers in history. While some people might turn up their noses at carnations, calling them common, history’s greatest painters definitely did not. Rembrandt, Raphael, Dürer, and Da Vinci all used carnations in their work, as they carry much symbolic significance.

Carnations are edible and can be used in salads and desserts, but you should never eat carnations that come from a florist. Grow Dianthus organically instead.

Many gardeners wouldn’t dream of gardening without their beloved pinks. You can read more about Dianthus here: Pinks: Petite and Prolific.

What do you think about carnations–are they common or underrated? Have you eaten them?

See all birth flowers/plants:
January: Carnation, February: Iris, March: Daffodil, April: Daisy, May: Lily of the Valley, June: Rose, July: Delphinium, August: Gladiola, September: Aster, October: Pot Marigold, November: Chrysanthemum, December: Paperwhite

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